I love smoking meat on my Traeger and Big Green Egg, and many people have enjoyed the results of such well-designed cooking tools. On the prep side, trimming briskets and pork butts is part of the process, and I wanted to know if the Made in the USA Benchmade Meatcrafter could make my life (and yours) easier. We got our hands on the 15500-3 model for some tasty testing opportunities.
- Made in the USA
- Perfect blade shape for long slicing and precision cutting
- Outstanding handle design that complements the blade beautifully
- Premium materials
- Free sharpening, cleaning, oiling, and adjusting for life
- 3 distinct options available that vary in more than just color
- Customizable option available
Benchmade Meatcrafter Blade
The Meatcrafter is designed for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters, and that is evident in the blade material and shape.
The steel is CPM-S45VN premium stainless, which boasts a hardness rating of 60-62HRC. This type of steel offers higher levels of Chromium and the introduction of Nitrogen, providing improved corrosion resistance over other high-end variants like CPM-S30V and CPMS90V, while still maintaining excellent performance.
The shape has a trailing point style with its characteristic upward curving spine, creating an elevated point higher than the handle. This blade style fosters precision and is well-suited for the detailed work of meat trimming and field dressing. With its full-tang length, you can be certain that it won’t eventually push through the handle the way cheaper knives do.
The blade has a satin finish, giving it a sleek and polished appearance. It’s just over 6 inches long with a thickness of 0.09 inches. That gives it some flex, but not as much as you’d get from a filet knife.
Benchmade Meatcrafter Handle
The handle of the knife makes use of G10 scales, a highly durable and rigid composite made from multiple layers of resin-laminated fiberglass. This construction ensures the handle can stand up to harsh environments and resists wear over time. At the same time, it’s lighter than a metal handle and offers excellent grip when your hands are wet.
With a thickness of 0.55 inches (13.97mm) and hand-fitting contours, the handle provides a comfortable, secure grip that allows you to more easily take advantage of the precision cutting the blade is capable of.
The design incorporates three holes, with the largest being a lanyard hole near the bottom in case you’d like to tether it.
Using the Benchmade Meatcrafter
My first experience with the Meatcrafter was trimming a full packer brisket for smoking. I like to separate the point and flat to get a precise 203°F pull temperature on each section.
From the very first slice, I was impressed with how sharp the knife is out of the box. It’s borderline surgical sharp, taking a lot of the effort out of trimming away the fat.
Moving into the fat layer between the point and flat, the long belly of the blade makes for easy separation. As you’re getting deeper into the cut, the narrow tip helps get into those tight areas that need some additional precision.
Just for kicks, I tried filleting some fresh sea trout we caught in Tampa Bay. While the knife’s shape and sharpness are perfect for the job, there’s not enough flex to get as much meat off as I’d like. However, it could most certainly be useful on larger, thicker species such as tuna.
Benchmade Meatcrafter Price
The knife comes in three different color configurations, and each one includes a belt-friendly sheath. The one we reviewed has a satin finish with an OD green handle offset with an orange ring. Here’s how the three stock options line up:
If you want to take things a step further with personalization, the Meatcrafter is part of the customizable line.
As you consider your purchase, keep in mind Benchmade’s Lifesharp service after the sale. They’ll sharpen, adjust, oil, and clean your knife at no additional cost for as long as you own it.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re preparing meat for the smoker or field dressing game, using the Benchmade Meatcrafter is a “where have you been all my life?” kind of experience. The shape of the blade and design of the handle complement each other perfectly, and the quality of the materials ensure that your knife has an extremely long life. While Benchmade’s pricing is premium, we believe it’s well worth stepping up to this level if you’re serious about meat prepping chores.